Going strong

Today we did a lot of training! I worked with Eleanor for about an hour and a half, doing about 75 trials. There was a change in the routine however, after talking to some of my classmates, they reminded me that Eleanor needs to drink. So after 20 trials, we stopped for a couple seconds and Eleanor had a water break. She was getting close to being completely clicker trained. Out of the 75 trials we did, there was only 7 that were not successful on the first try. Cutting the hole in the box was the best decision that I made.

I also started weighing Eleanor. Her starting weight is 168.7 grams. Her weight is flucuating up and down depending on how much we train each day. On the days that we do not do as much training Eleanor receives 4 pellets of food to eat, on the days we do training she receives 2 pellets after we have completed. I have continued to deprive her of food for 18 hours. This seems to work well. She is motivated and eager to do training.

http://tinypic.com/r/263ua04/3

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Early stages

Starting on Thursday I began to do clicker training. I started by using a cardboard box which was not too big, but big enough for her to run around in. I decided to use the double click method. At first, I was putting the food in the corner by hand. Once I put the food in, I would click to let Eleanor know it was there. Once she made her way to the corner and found the food, I would click again to let her know she did something correct.

I found that putting the food into the box by hand began to condition Eleanor to see my hand as the stimulus versus the click. I then decided to cut a hole in the side of the box, in the corner that she was training to go to, and began to feed her through the hole. I would click, present food at the hole, and click again when she found it. Luckily I did not have a problem with Eleanor trying to get out of the box by jumping or climbing.

And we begin…

So with working with Eleanor, I have found that she is a very smart rat. We started clicker training on Thursday September 3rd and I think by Wednesday she will have it! I started depriving her of food for about 12 hours and found that nothing was really working. I then took drastic measures and took food from her for almost 24 hours. This seemed to work. Now after a day of training, I did leave 3 peices of food in her cage for her to munch on over night.